Democracy Reform Task Force Chair Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) released the following statement today after former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director and Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III delivered testimony before the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence about his Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election:
“Special Counsel Mueller’s testimony today laid bare the alarming and ongoing threat of foreign attacks on our elections – the cornerstone of our democracy.
“The Special Counsel stated unequivocally, ‘Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious.’ He also affirmed, 'Many more countries are developing capabilities to replicate what the Russians have done… They’re doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign.’
“In addition, Mueller underscored – in stark terms – the efforts undertaken by President Trump, members of his campaign and officials within his administration to obstruct the Special Counsel’s investigation by repeatedly lying to the FBI, tampering with witnesses, falsifying and destroying documents and engaging in a coordinated coverup to hide the truth from the American people. Our oversight committees will continue to press the case that no one is above the law and will follow the evidence wherever it leads.
“In light of the Special Counsel’s testimony regarding Russian interference, it’s clear that Congress must act immediately to protect our democracy – and House Democrats are up to the task. Our first action this year was to pass H.R. 1, the For the People Act, to strengthen our democracy and protect our election from foreign attacks. In June, we took additional steps to build resiliency and bolster ballot box security across the country by passing H.R. 2722, the Securing America’s Federal Elections (SAFE) Act. In the coming days and weeks, House Democrats will continue to combat foreign interference in our democracy by cracking down on foreign money and influence in our elections.
“Hostile foreign actors are coming for us with bytes and bots, not bombs and bullets. We must get ready for the 2020 election and strengthen our defenses. Congressional Republicans – chief among them, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – need to step up and join us in protecting our country from these attacks. Anything less would be an abdication of their constitutional duty and an affront to the oath they took to defend our democracy.”